Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Where is the love?

I meet so few “real Christians”these days. Instead, I meet people like Rev. Jose Rivas. He used the principles found in Sun Tsu’s Art of War to crush his enemy. Specifically, he used the concept of Weak Points & Strong/Illusion and Reality to seize power in a local parish. Rivas saw the relative weakness of his enemy, a beloved nun whose social activism helped transformed her poverty stricken Brooklyn neighborhood, and cast her out. Sister Thomas of St. Athanasius Church, found herself homeless after after 48 years of service. It was a political move. There was no love involved. Institutional Churches, especially the Catholic Church, are a business after all. The new priest needed to consolidate his power if he is to run his new business successfully. I love the business model. Screw the homeless, cast out the nuns, and then start with a clean slate.

About a month ago, a new pastor took over, and she was told to vacate the premises.

Four other parish staff - another nun, Sister Louise, who ran religious education for 20-plus years, two deacons and a secretary - have been dismissed or left.

It's a pastor's prerogative to chose his staff, but some people think the nuns, Sister Thomas in particular, have been treated pretty shabbily.

"Sister Thomas is one of the most influential women in the South Bronx," said longtime parishioner and community activist Antonio Centeno. "The new pastor came here with an iron fist."


Love. Pass it on.